I don’t have to remind everyone of what we’ve endured for the past 12 months.
But, I feel like it is important to reflect on the past and present state of the pandemic.
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, our family was gathering in the Twin Cities to watch the Fillmore Central Falcons girls basketball team battle for a state tournament title. I recall standing in line with other parents talking about the possibility of this coronavirus shutting down events. One parent said they knew someone who had contracted the virus. At that time, it didn’t even seem real.
The next day, the state basketball tournament was cancelled.
On Tuesday, March 17, Governor Walz issued an executive order to close bars, restaurants, hair salons, fitness centers, and all events. A mask mandate was implemented.
Senior care facilities went into lockdown. Schools closed and kids stayed home until a temporary distance learning plan was implemented. We couldn’t go to church.
I remember driving through Preston, Minn., normally a bustling county seat, and it was like a ghost town. The gas prices dropped to less than $1.00, but nobody was going anywhere.
And, I suddenly became nervous about whether our family had enough toilet paper. I had never been concerned about TP in my entire life until I heard that store shelves were empty. Maybe these assertive shoppers knew something I didn’t know, and that alarmed me. Fortunately, we survived that episode.
Then we stayed home with our families and watched the COVID-19 numbers climb worldwide.
We ate (and snacked excessively), played board games, watched movies, and enjoyed time with our families. Did I mention that we ate? I’m still trying to lose about 10 pounds from going into lockdown.
And, then it started to happen.
We wanted to experience some sort of normal, so we started to adapt.
We called our parents and grandparents to check and see how they were doing. Then came Zoom video calls.
If anything, our abrupt disconnect due to the virus made us realize how much we really needed each other. We missed each other in ways we had never imagined possible.
And, we started spending more time outdoors: camping, hiking, biking, kayaking. Anything outdoors. Outdoors was considered a safe place, as long as we were six feet apart from anyone who didn’t live our home.
We’ve endured quite a bit over the past year.
Throw a general election and civil unrest in the middle of a pandemic and we’ve been riding on a crazy train of emotional distress.
We’ve adapted in order to get through this pandemic. We all want for life to get back to normal, and we will get there sooner than later.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Response Vaccine Data, as of press time on Thursday, March 11, 2021, our counties in Southeast Minnesota are showing signs of progress with vaccinations.
Nationwide a little over 10% of the population has received the vaccine. In Minnesota, there have been 1,129,967 people with at least one vaccine dose. Another 642,701 individuals with the completed vaccine series. Combined, that’s 31.4% of the entire population.
In Fillmore County, we have 6,265 people who have received at least one vaccine dose, with another 3,398 individuals who have completed the vaccine series – for a total of 9,663. That’s 45.86% of the population.
For Houston County, we have 5,259 who have received at least one vaccine dose, with 3,017 individuals completing the vaccine series — a total of 8,276. That’s 44.5% of the population.
With Mower County, we have 8,365 who have received at least one vaccine dose, with 3,993 individuals completing the vaccine series – a total of 12,358. That’s 30.8% of the population.
Throughout the past 12 months, we’ve continuously adapted and normal will be arriving soon. Especially for rural communities like ours.